Ethiopia / Africa

  

Journalists face growing hostility as Ethiopia’s civil war persists

Ethiopia’s 21-month-old civil war is accelerating the deterioration of press freedom in the Horn of Africa nation. The conflict between the federal government and the rebel forces led by the Tigray Peoples’ Liberation Front (TPLF) has prompted a media crackdown that extinguished the glimmer of hope sparked by the initial reforms of Prime Minister Abiy…

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Ethiopia’s civil war dashes once-high hopes of press freedom

In a Facebook post at the end of October, Awlo Media Center, an Ethiopian online news outlet critical of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration, announced that the government’s “pressure and obstruction” had forced it to shut down and lay off all of its employees.   The closure came after a number of Awlo Media Center journalists…

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CPJ joins call urging Ethiopia to maintain internet access during elections

The Committee to Protect Journalists recently joined 46 other human rights, free expression, and technology organizations in a letter calling on Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to guarantee secure and reliable internet access during and following the country’s elections. In the letter, sent on June 18, members of the #KeepItOn Coalition against internet shutdowns also…

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Protestors holding signs

At-risk journalists who must flee home countries often find few quick and safe options

In 2018, journalist Mohammad Shubaat was in Daraa, Syria, caught between advancing forces aligned with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the closed borders of Israel and Jordan. Despite the dire threat to Shubaat and many of his colleagues, it would take over a year of intense negotiations with some 20 countries by the Committee to…

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A man in military fatigues and a face mask holding a cell phone in his hand looks at the camera.

Journalists struggle to work amid extended internet shutdowns in Myanmar, Ethiopia, Kashmir

By CPJ Africa and Asia Program Staff Even a brief shutdown of the internet impedes the press from doing its job. But some disruptions last for months, severely undermining safety and access to information, CPJ has found. Recently, authorities have imposed such measures in Myanmar and Ethiopia amid serious crises. India leads the world in internet…

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Election disinformation happens all over the world. These journalists are combating it.

With multiple federal investigations underway into the January 6 Capitol riot, concerns still abound about the spread of disinformation around the U.S. election. But the U.S. is not alone in confronting the phenomenon. Disinformation is happening all over the world – especially during high stakes events like national votes.    “It’s language agnostic, it’s region agnostic,…

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Fighting breaks out as security personnel attempt to re-arrest Nigerian activist and journalist Omoyele Sowore at the Federal High Court in Abuja, Nigeria, on December 6, 2019. Sowore and other activist-journalists have been jailed in Nigeria and Ethiopia amid a crackdown on free expression. (Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde)

Nigeria and Ethiopia jail activist-journalists amid crackdown on free expression

The ongoing detentions of Nigerian publisher Agba Jalingo and Ethiopian editor Fekadu Mahtemework–the only journalists behind bars for their work in their countries, according to CPJ’s latest prison census–don’t tell the whole story of their governments’ crackdowns on freedom of expression.

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Ethiopians read newspapers in Addis Ababa on June 24. Following what the government refers to as a failed attempted coup, access to the internet was cut and journalists were arrested. (Reuters/Tiksa Negeri)

In era of reform, Ethiopia still reverts to old tactics to censor press

On June 22, Ethiopia was plunged into an internet blackout following what the government described as a failed attempted coup in the Amhara region. In the aftermath at least two journalists were detained under the country’s repressive anti-terror law, part of an uptick in arrests that CPJ has noted in the country since May.

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Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed speaks during a press conference in Addis Ababa, in August 2018. Since Abiy's election, conditions for Ethiopia's journalists have improved, but some challenges remain. (AFP/Michael Tewelde)

Under Abiy, Ethiopia’s media have more freedom but challenges remain

During a trip to Addis Ababa in January, it was impossible to miss the signs that Ethiopian media are enjoying unprecedented freedom. A flurry of new publications were on the streets. At a public forum that CPJ attended, journalists spoke about positive reforms, but also openly criticized their lack of access to the government. At…

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Ethiopian photojournalist Aziza Mohamed, pictured in Nairobi in 2014 with her colleagues, from left, Endalkachew Tesfaye and Endale Teshi, who both now live in the U.S. and Habtamu Seyoum, who is still waiting for resettlement. (CPJ/Nicole Schilit)

Ethiopian photojournalist shares experiences of going into exile

For World Refugee Day, exiled Ethiopian photojournalist Aziza Mohamed spoke with CPJ Journalist Assistance Program Coordinator Nicole Schilit about her experience of being a refugee and eventually being resettled in the U.S. [This transcript of Aziza’s comments has been edited for length and clarity.]

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